Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA was used to investigate for the first time the structure of the microbial community that inhabits salt crystals retrieved from the bottom of a solar saltern, located in the coastal area of the Mediterranean Sea (Sfax, Tunisia). This community lives in an extremely salty environment of 250-310 g/L total dissolved salt. A total of 78 bacterial 16S rRNA clone sequences making up to 21 operational taxonomic units (OTUs), determined by the DOTUR program to 97% sequence similarity, was analyzed. These OTUs were affiliated to Bacteroidetes (71.4% of OTUs), and gamma-Proteobacteria and alpha-Proteobacteria (equally represented by 14.2% of the OTUs observed). The archaeal community composition appeared more diverse with 68 clones, resulting in 44 OTUs, all affiliated with the Euryarchaeota phylum. Of the bacterial and archaeal clones showing <97% 16S rRNA sequence identity with sequences in public databases, 47.6% and 84.1% respectively were novel clones. Both rarefaction curves and diversity measurements (Simpson, Shannon-Weaver, Chao) showed a more diverse archaeal than bacterial community at the Tunisian solar saltern pond. The analysis of an increasing clone's number may reveal additional local diversity.